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Home >> Sci-Edu
UPDATED: 08:01, July 27, 2006
Authority bans Shanghai school vaunting traditional Chinese teaching methods
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Local authorities have shown a red flag to a controversial school in Shanghai which favors traditional Chinese teaching methods including rote memorization and recitation of the classics to educate children.

A spokesman with the Shanghai education committee said the school is unlawful as it did not apply for a license from the local educational authority according to China's education law.

The school's teaching method and curriculum also contravene China's law on compulsory education as they are not appropriate for the pupils and do not conform to national standards, the spokesman said.

The private school, Meng Mu Tang, was set up last year and named after the mother of famed Chinese philosopher Mencius. It now has 12 students, mainly hailing from Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong and Shanghai.

The students, aged between 4 and 12, study Chinese by reciting Confucian classics such as the Book of Change and the Analects, and learn English by reciting William Shakespeare's works including A Midsummer Night's Dream and the Sonnets.

Mathematics, swimming and yoga are also taught at the school.

The pricey annual tuition fees of some 30,000 yuan (around 3,750 U.S. dollars) were also criticized by the spokesman because they were not authorized by the relevant price bureau.

The parents have also become a target of criticism. They were accused of violating the law for failing to send their children to state-approved educational institutions.

The school's teacher, surnamed Li, responded by saying "We won't dissolve the school and will carry on as before."

According to Li, Meng Mu Tang is a private school run by families rather than a full-time school or training school operated by social groups. Therefore it does not need to abide by laws for schools run by social groups.

Education experts have been reported as saying that the teaching method adopted by the school is "outmoded" and might be detrimental to the children's growth.

Source: Xinhua

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